Beth Blair, author of The Unofficial Guide to Mall of America, shares with us what’s new at this shopping destination.
2016 was an exciting year for Mall of America (MOA). Phase II continued its rollout with announcements of new shops and restaurants. MOA partnered with Uber so shoppers no longer have to worry about parking. Pick-up and drop-off is on the north side of the building. You can’t miss the Uber signs.
It’s not uncommon for stores or attractions to relocate from time to time, as new spaces open and retailers try to find the sweet spot that attracts the right customers. Last year, Vom Fass (N345), known for fine oils, vinegars, spirits, and spices, moved to the north side of the building near the new food court Culinary on North. The new location is beautiful!
The Chapel of Love (E318) at Mall of America closed its first location, formerly located by the now-gone Bloomingdales, and has relocated to a new spot on the east side. More than 7,500 couples have said “I do” at Mall of America over the last 22 years.
Regarding new stores, well there’s always something opening at MOA. To start, Cesere Brothers Fine Art Underwater Photography (S126) will take your breath away with its display of vibrant ocean life and scene photography.
Margaritaville now also at MOA
Jimmy Buffet brought the tropics to Minnesota with his world-famous Margaritaville (E344). Menu items include classics like Cheeseburger in Paradise, Volcano Nachos, and classic LandShark Lager.
On the north side of the mall in or near Phase II is where a lot of action has been happening. Spanish retailer ZARA (C185) opened Minnesota’s first location and covers a massive 30,000 feet over two stories. Across the way is shoe store TOMS (C106) and a spacious 10,000-square-foot Anthropologie (C128). Here you will find women’s apparel and accessories, home furnishings, gifts, and decor.
Add a new sweet stop to your list…Rustica’s new Cookies & Creamery recently opened and the offerings are delicious. You may occasionally catch employees offering free samples in front of the store.
Up in the new Culinary on North food court, Piada (N326), Shake Shack (N322), and Naf Naf Grill (C326) have opened. Warning: The lines at lunchtime can get long (especially at Shake Shack), so plan your midday meal accordingly. There is plenty of seating in the new food court as well as phone chargers. If you make your way to the back of the food court, you may score a window seat with a view of Mall of America’s main entrance and giant logo star, as well as the chance to watch airplanes take off and land at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Adults and kids are excited about SMAAASH launch. Think virtual-reality (VR) meets team building meets the kid in everyone. This world-class gaming and entertainment center combines sports and VR with rides and experiences like Sky Karting (a multi-level carting experience), Finger Coaster (design and ride your personally designed roller coaster), Walk the Plank (walk across buildings 500 feet above sea level), and so much more.